So after the steroid shots….

My feet don’t hurt anymore.

I feel like I’ve been allowed to enter into a miracle. It’s call I Can Walk Without Pain.

I am a chronic kvetch and I will whine and complain about any damn thing. But I’m not whining and complaining about this. I used to attend an AA meeting at the Jersey Shore where there was a sign over the speaker’s table. It said “Thou Shalt Not Whine.”

AA is built on “rigorous honesty.” That’s what helps keep us sober, if we are or if we’re going tocowflop be. I made my feelings known. A slogan like “Thou shalt not whine” is rampaging bullshit. It’s the whole herd of cattle traipsing across the field after eating 2,000 pounds of baked beans and a green salad, pitching loads all over the pasture.

So I told my truth: “For you newcomers, or for people having a hard time, go ahead and whine. A whine is better than a whiskey.”

Okay, so maybe you had to be there.

So last Thursday I got a ride to the pain management center in Pittsfield. Removed most of the clothes. Sign another stack of permission slips. “Please let Kenny go on the class field trip next Thursday. [signed] Kenny’s Mom.”

The doctor came in and hit me in the arm with an intramuscular sedative injection. The nurse told me it was something related to Valium, and I’d feel very calm. What the hell. I used to get stoned on worse stuff. I would go down the hall on a gurney, Dr. Nguyen would set an x-ray to locate exactly where to place the needle. And he did. There was only one issue: I don’t remember a thing. Before I was even wheeled down the hall, I was out cold from the sedative. When I woke up–or came to–the nurse was telling me we were done and I could get ready to go home. I put on my clothes, went out to the hall, and called the lady who would be driving me back.

When I got to the apartment, I phoned the local really good Chinese restaurant and ordered two combination platters, one per night. Or, the way I eat now, two for four nights. It was awesome. No way did I feel like cooking.

Friday started out to be a horror show. I’d been told that if it was going to work, it might take two or even three days. No kidding. My feet still hurt. I don’t quite know what I was expecting. Yes I do. I wanted complete remission. I wanted the legs of a 30-year-old man and the prowess of Casanova. That didn’t happen. In fact, I felt worse than before. I felt bereft of any hope.

I had to go marketing, and by the time I got home, I figured that death was a perfectly okay option. So I lay down on my bed. Hey, maybe I won’t wake up. My feet were killing me. But I didn’t die. Obviously? Instead, I slept from about 3 PM until 10:30. My whole body clock was just a bit off, probably from the shot.

I sat up and put my feet on the floor (that’s how it usually works). I stood up. And I felt…

…not a damn blessed thing. There was no pain.

“How good and how simple!” [Ivan Ilyich] thought. “And the pain?” he asked himself. “What has become of it? Where are you, pain?

I walked around my apartment. It did not hurt. So I put my shoes on. And then I went outside and walked around.

And it still did not hurt. I thought: “This can’t be happening.”

Yes, it could.

Oh, I still had balance issues. I’d probably be arrested by the North Adams gendarmerie for public intoxication. I still needed to walk with a cane. But the amazing fact was that the soles of my feet no longer hurt. What had been ghastly and enough to bring me to tears no longer hurt. All I could think was Holy shit, it worked. It’s working!

Right, I am still shaky on my feet. That will be an issue to bring to my follow-up appointment with the doctor in about two weeks. But this was like the old liturgical song I learned at family Seders at Passover many years ago. Dayenu: it would have been enough.

Had He brought us out from Egypt and not executed judgment against them,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had He executed judgment against them and not destroyed their idols,
It would been enough! Dayenu!
Had He destroyed their idols and not slain their firstborn,
It would been enough! Dayenu!
Had He slain their first born and not given us their possessions,
It would have been enough!, Dayenu!
Had He given us their possessions and not divided the sea for us,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had He divided the sea for us and not brought us through it dry-shod,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had He brought us through it dry-shod and not drowned our oppressors in it,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had He drowned our oppressors in it and not sustained us in the wilderness for forty years,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had He sustained us in the wilderness for forty years and not fed us manna,
It would have been enough Dayenu!
Had He fed us manna and not given us the Sabbath,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had He given us the Sabbath and not brought us to mount Sinai,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had he brought us to Mount Sinai, and not given us the Torah,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had he given us the Torah and not brought us in the land of Israel,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!
Had He brought us into the Land of Israel and not built the temple for us,
It would have been enough! Dayenu!

And it was enough. And for now it is enough.

Dayenu.

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About Ken Wolman

Sit still, shut up, and listen. We might both learn something.
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2 Responses to So after the steroid shots….

  1. Dayenu indeed. I am unspeakably glad to know that the pain is gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kenwolman says:

    Thanks! It’s an amazing sensation. I still walk like I’d be picked up by the N. Adams cops for public intoxication, but it doesn’t HURT anymore. I don’t feel invulnerable, I don’t feel like I’ve been on the rack either.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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